The ACT’s Test Information Release (TIR)

The ACT folks offer a Test Information Release (TIR) service for three of the six testing dates. For $18 you receive a copy of the test booklet, a list of your answers, the answer key, and scoring instructions. If you took the Writing Test, you also receive a copy of the writing prompt, the scoring rubric, and the two scores assigned to your essay. In my case, I received this 6-7 weeks after the December 11th test date.

So, is it worth it?

In my opinion, the free Student Report provides some really useful generalities, as each content area (with the exception of Science) has both an overall score and applicable subscores. For example, my Mathematics overall score was 35; the subscores were 18 (Pre-Algebra/Elem. Algebra), 17 (Algebra/Coord. Geometry), and 16 (Plane Geometry/Trig.). If you’re planning on taking the ACT again, this information alone can help guide your practice/study.

What the TIR provides, if you’re willing to go through those questions missed and analyze them a bit, is the specifics. Using my Mathematics example, was my 16 subscore in Plane Geometry/Trig the result of missed Geometry questions or Trig questions? (Turns out, both questions missed were Geometry questions.) If English was an area of weakness, can you find a pattern of mistakes? For example, subject-verb agreement? Or verb tense?

If the goal is to improve, then analyzing and learning from past mistakes is probably #1 on the list of “suggestions for doing better next time.” If you’re willing to do this, then the $18 is $18 well spent.

Hope this helps. Don’t forget… Plan, Practice, Perform. 🙂

Comments are closed.